Tuesday 19 October 2021

The Hague needs more offices and Amsterdam is relaxing its regulations

An artist’s impression of what the area near The Hague’s main station could look like

There will be a major shortage of suitable offices in The Hague in the coming years, and the vacancy rate is set to plunge, according to new research by property advice group CBRE.

The currency office vacancy rate in The Hague is 8.3%, but that will drop to around 3% by 2022 and therefore drive up rents, CBRE says.  ‘This is the perfect time to improve the quality of The Hague’s office supply as much as possible by realising new projects and renovating existing buildings,’ the agency says in a new report.

The Hague’s current plans include building 130,000 square metres of new offices by 2025 but this should be speeded up, the agency says.

‘When new offices are they developed it is essential that proximity to a railway station and a multifunctional environment are taken into account, Bas Thijsen, director of CBRE in The Hague said.

Last week, Amsterdam city council said it would relax building regulations to allow developers to build more offices, as the vacancy rate in the capital fell to 4.6%. The Zuidas and close to the Arena football stadium will be expanded first, but other areas will also come on line in the years to come, alderman Udo Kock said.

The aim is to develop mixed areas in which people both live and work, Kock said.

The city will now allocate land to a specific company if it wants to move to the city, as happened with the European Medicines Agency, although this will be restricted to firms which fit into key sectors such as the creative industry, biotech and IT.

New offices will have to be close to public transport with a limited number of parking places and not be connected to the gas network. In total, the city plans to realise 500,000 square metres of new offices in the coming four years.

The vacancy rates are also faling in Utrecht (8.5%) Rotterdam (11.2%) and Eindhoven (8%), CBRE said.

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